Senior politicians led by MP Robert Halfon write to Immigration Minister over plans to house 400 asylum seekers in Harlow Town Centre

News / Fri 10th Mar 2023 at 08:35pm

A NUMBER of senior politicians, headed by Harlow MP Robert Halfon, have written to the Minister for Immigration over possible plans to house up to 400 asylum seekers in new housing next to Harlow Town Centre.

Mr Halfon said: “There have been media reports about a proposal to house around 400 asylum seekers in a new development in Wych Elm. Whilst Harlow is an incredibly compassionate town, this proposal is inappropriate for a number of reasons and I am entirely opposed to this.

“I have written urgently to the Home Office Minister for clarification on this proposal and will do everything possible to stop this.

“I have always campaigned for Harlow homes for Harlow people and will be meeting with the Minister urgently to make absolutely clear why this proposal is wrong, unworkable and must not happen”.

The letter was signed by Harlow Council leader Russell Perrin, Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst, Harlow Council Chief Executive, Andrew Bramidge, Essex County Council Leader, Kevin Bentley and Deputy Louise McKinley

The letter is below

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28 Comments for Senior politicians led by MP Robert Halfon write to Immigration Minister over plans to house 400 asylum seekers in Harlow Town Centre:

2023-03-10 21:08:26

Robert, you were so pleased just a few days ago, with the plans to make claiming asylum illegal. You knew or should know that this would lead to refugees being in limbo, unable to have their claims processed, unable to be returned anywhere and yet need to be housed somewhere. Where did you think they would be housed? In the non-existent detention centres? Did you really think that they would all be sent to Rwanda when you know or should know that the agreement is for 200 max? This Tory government has created this problem. And now they are trying to appear to be "on our side" by trying to stop the problem that they have created. This is a distraction from all the other problems this government has caused - cost of living, PartyGate, highest inflation for decades, the highest taxes for decades. Trust the Tories to use the old "blame the immigrants" ploy. Are the people of Harlow so stupid that they will fall for this obvious trick?

David Forman
2023-03-10 21:29:39

Councillor Jodi Dunne is right in every aspect with his comments above. The broken asylum system is all the result of the Conservative government dragging its feet to sort out the issue. They do, however, understand the benefit of constantly building the hostile environment for refugees. It is the one thing that might let them hold onto power. A despicable strategy from a discredited and despicable party.

2023-03-10 21:39:12

Just to be clear, JD is NOT Councillor Jodi Dunne. However, I stand by my comments.

NO NO NO!!!!
2023-03-10 21:53:40

Robert halfons letter is heartbreaking to read because its so true.why was harlow new town allowed to get in to the state that it has? We are so over populated here that in my opinion it is inhumane,all this constant building of more and more and more homes has already gone way to far and yet there will still be so many more new builds in the town. With the homes and people comes yet thousands more cars/vans blocking pavements and causing so much damage to the paths and kerb stones, its an absolute nightmare here in harlow. As humans we deserve privacy and lovely open spaces to get away from it all,but the green spaces around the town are getting less and less and there is nowhere to escape from others as we go about our daily lives, we are living on top of eachother and in such close proximity and its going to get so much worse. We are being so disrespected in this town and it is apalling that harlow has been allowed to be so built up and so over populated. So many outsiders here now and most of them have no respect for harlow at all.shocking and shameful. All the developers and councillors and whoever has allowed this once great town to become the overbuilt over populated hell hole that it has now become you should hang your heads in shame.

2023-03-10 22:58:54

With 5,000 on the Social housing list how would it be acceptable to house these economic migrants in brand new homes, above the local population. France was a safe Country.90 per cent are males, not families.

2023-03-10 23:10:54

This is an outrage. Robert Halfon is totally right in every sense. By giving these illegal migrants preferable treatment over our own people on the housing list and over migrants who go through legal channels just condones illegality. It is morally wrong on every sense. These people could have claimed asylum on the first safe country. Many are not even genuine refugees. They should not be housed in Harlow or anywhere else on the UK. They should be deported.

Kelly .M
2023-03-11 02:22:35

What Graham said is absolutely correct. Also, why are they always burley men ? hardly any woman and kids, just lone men coming here? . It feels unsafe in town now. Can’t even sit in the water gardens alone as a woman these days without these groups of men looking at you like you are meat. They look at you like they are predators. This is our country and they are treating women and girls like we are in their way. Well I tell you what, there’s going to be a civil war if this goes ahead because we arnt taking it anymore and I’m sure there is something deeper going on as to why are they mostly men coming here?????

2023-03-11 08:06:18

Kelly .M . Please be very careful whilst up the town centre , as it will become a no go zone very soon. The reason its mainly men is so they can illegally work , claim benefits, and the government will send child allowance to their families in which ever country they came from (Albania). UNBELIEVABLE!!. If women came over they would have to bring their kids, and would work in the sex trade. I cannot wait to leave this absolute shit hole of a town . There will be trouble and violence in the town. The do Gooders who want these migrants over here will have blood on their hands.

gary roberts
2023-03-11 08:46:32

Whether you agree or disagree with this disgusting government's policy on "stopping the small boats" you can be sure it will appear on every Conservative election leaflet. And of course the BBC will as usual portray any opposition as misguided as in the case of Mr. Lineker bringing the once great impartial news source into disrepute. However, I suspect it will not mean that the Conservatives will win the next election on the back of it given their last four years in office. Will the people forget that they have destroyed the fabric of all our public services, our economy and our future relationships with Europe: I bloody well hope not!

Harlows had enough
2023-03-11 09:48:16

As bad as this government is what ever they come up with to sort illegal immigrants coming across the channel good or bad the opposition will always oppose it so nothing gets done. Will voting Labour make things any better, I don't think so probably worse. All mp's from all parties should get together and come up with a solution before all towns in this country become dumping grounds for illegal immigrants.

2023-03-11 09:51:59

Every where else in the world they put tents in fields to house refugees and put some professionals on site to help. Why does it have to be so different here? If it comes to pass that this building is filled with young men and not women and children, I suggest that some of the 5000 people waiting for housing set up in tents near by and get the global media involved. The optics would so bad the gov would have to act.

2023-03-11 11:20:12

Probably more importantly. This shows the true face of our democracy as this is happening up and down the country where central government runs roughshod over local communities. Shows how powerless we really are. I notice no offices/ tower blocks are being set aside in Westminster for this sort of thing.

2023-03-11 11:58:01

Why should we be housing people who have not paid into our system our own family’s are left behind plus everything is going up and people who are working for their living are experiencing high costs for heating food and transport it should not be allowed , they will get priority for doctors hospitals dentist what country can we go to to get everything free I would like to know so I can claim asylum

2023-03-11 12:55:01

Kelly.M. sadly you are correct, with 400 men with no women what could possibly go wrong. The town centre has got worse and feels very intimidating. Parents need to keep a close watch on their kids.

2023-03-11 14:19:33

JD, you appear to have NO regard for the local needy, those who have been waiting years to be housed, to house illegals in these home is an affront to the common decency of looking after your own. When they housed those thrown out of Enfield and housed in Terminus House the crime shot up by 60%. This town fast becoming a notorious black spot for crime and drugs. Harlow is official one of the top ten of the worst towns to live in UK. The proprietors of this new build obviously see a real financial gain by charging the taxpayer million of £ to house these undesirables.

2023-03-11 15:03:34

Robert Halfon has it spot on. I am sick and tired of all the do gooders in this country who say we should let them in. They flee war torn countries and are supposed to seek a safe haven in the first safe country they come to, so why do they keep crossing the channel to get here. This plan should be nipped in the bud, and if any kind of housing is being built in Wych elm to house these so called asylum seekers, then it should be allocated to our own resident's who are on the waiting list. I wonder if the planners and developers responsible for approving the HGGT plan would be willing to house them right in the middle of one of the new villages when they are built.

Richard A
2023-03-11 17:21:50

This is the perfect example of architects dreams turning into residents nightmares. When the Council granted planning permission for this development it was sold a dream of high quality, desirable and affordable properties providing much needed housing for local people. Here we are 4 years on with a load of properties that are neither desirable or affordable so the developer looks to offload them to whoever offers the best price and disregards the effects it will have on the local community. Many residents commented at the time the planning application was made that local services could not cater for a large number of additional residents in the Town Centre but in their wisdom Harlow Council ignored these comments and granted permission. I find it strange that our political leaders now object that local services cannot cope when 4 years ago they ignored residents concerns that this would happen. My concern is that this farago will be duplicated in the other blocks of flats proposed for the Town Centre which will end up as giant sink estate solution for unsolvable housing problems from outside our town.

Steve Morris
2023-03-11 20:26:39

Wow, So many racists on here... They are asylum seekers... Not illegal immigrants... They are people... Actual real people... They could be fleeing conflict in Ukraine... Or persecution in Iran... They could be men, women, children and they have to go somewhere... If your house was bombed to pieces by some ignorant animal like Putin wouldn't you want at the very least a roof over your head? I honestly can't believe Robert Halfon is supporting the turn back the boats policy too... He is clearly a very simple man... If he cared about the people in his town he would look after the town a lot better than he is... The roads are in ruin... The pavements and roundabouts are crumbling... Where's your pride Robert? Be a human being and welcome these people with open arms, Isn't your wife Brazilian? Should we send her packing?

2023-03-11 23:25:34

Steve Morris, we don’t want or need them. Our people first. Put them up in your house!

2023-03-11 23:58:21

Steve Morris. You sound so gullible. 80% of the boat people are illegal from Abania . And tell me why do they pass through so many safe counties to get here. I shall tell you , for the free hand outs , and our stupid government sending child allowance back to their families in which ever country they came from. Do you know how much it cost to keep these migrants here, £6 million a day at the last count. Do you know I used to donate food to the foodbanks, but not anymore because most of it goes to the ungrateful scrounging illegal migrants. So now I will pay for some old ladies shopping when I see them in a supermarket instead. We also have real people struggling in this country as well , and they pay their way in taxes , so let's look after them. Or perhaps you are not bothered about them

2023-03-12 03:39:40

NO. We don’t want them. There’s no room in the inn. Local residents can’t even get decent, affordable housing. Why should the tax payers pay for this? I would rather pay to ban….

2023-03-12 08:59:25

What is noticeable, is that Harlow Labour Leader, Chris Vince, who is a prolific commentator on YH on most subjects, has deliberately chosen to remain silent on this burning issue which is potentially so damaging to our town and so unfair on lawful migrants and Harlow people on the housing list. What is Harlow Labour hiding from. Why are they not supporting our town?

2023-03-12 14:47:19

RH wrote "Harlow is an incredibly compassionate town" bur given most of the comments here, that is not the case. What most of these comments show is that Harlow has not learnt any of the lessons from the lies of Brexit, and are easily fooled into the basic racist xenophobic reactions without bothering to think about what they are being told. Why do you think "illegal immigrants" are being "given", what started a "flats" but are now "luxury flats"? Why are they not being housed in Terminus House or any of the other second rate office conversions? Because being "given" a "luxury flat" plays into the typical racist trope of "immigrants want to be given a house" - and this is exactly what has happened judging by most of the comments of these recent stories. The Tories must be laughing their socks off knowing that the same old tropes have fooled people again, and stirred up hatred and division yet again. While some will give more thought to fictional people jumping up & down with anger at "immigrants" being given homes, I will continue to welcome Ukrainians fleeing war with Russia, Hong Kong nationals fleeing oppression from China, and the victims of people trafficking and human slavery. I will not be fooled into hatred by this mendacious, lawbreaking government.

2023-03-12 15:14:06

JD you are with the fairies! You do not represent the people of this town but the authoritarian, leftie wokes who wish censor free speech. Run a mini referendum or consultation. You know the vast majority will oppose this. Still when were you and your like ever interested in democracy?

2023-03-12 15:50:34

JD . I agree with you when it comes to migrants from Hong Kong, Afghanistan , and Ukraine, who will want to return home when the war comes to an end. But that is only 20% of the people entering the country. What about the other 80%, who are coming from safe countries like Albania and Romania, just for the hand outs. I believe anyone coming to this country to live should get no benefits what so ever until they have paid in council and income tax for 5years.

Steve Morris
2023-03-12 17:11:19

Susan... I do already... And I hope the Iranians I put up get a seat on the bus with their free pass and you do not :) Turkey... How many Albanians have you met? How many are in Harlow? Have you got any idea what you are talking about? 90% Albanian.... What a joker... 50% are asian... The gangs that traffic them are Albanian... Robert Halfon is an embrassment just like the rest of the Tory party... Bunch of criminal wronguns

2023-03-12 18:01:14

SM. you nasty piece of work. I will apologise for him to you Susan.

2023-03-12 22:15:03

Steve Morris. You really have no idea what you are talking about. You say we should welcome them with open arms. No we should not. I certainly don't. People in this country should come first when it comes to being housed. This country is full up, we can take no more. And I keep hearing about other countries taking more than we do. That is because most other European countries are larger than our tiny Island. I fully agree with Robert Halfon on this one, and with the Government on it's effort to send them packing as soon as they step ashore.

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